Everyone gets to the point in their lives, where they start asking themselves the bigger questions like, “What is my purpose?” or “What have I accomplished that has been of any worth in my life?” You start reflecting on things that you maybe haven’t before. You start to think about what really matters and what doesn’t. I think as you get older you start to ask yourself these questions because you realize that a good chunk of your life is now gone and what do you have to show for it?
I remember watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie once where the Ingalls family was going through a tragedy. Their daughter went blind. In one particular scene, Charles’ friend was relating to him some other problem going on in the town and Charles basically said to the man telling him this, that if he would’ve told him about this a week ago, he would’ve been the most upset man you ever saw. “But now,” he said, “it doesn’t even matter.” It was only his tragedy that made him realize what was really important in life, and that was his family.
We look at successful people as we go through the course of our life and want to be the same way. We are told that certain things are so important like, having a big house or a new car or that boat you’ve always wanted, but at what cost? The Bible says in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
You may say, I wish I was famous or had some wonderfully high achievements because then my life would mean something and I would be remembered. These things may seem important to you now, but let me ask you a question, “Are you going to take those things with you when you die?” Last time I checked, there were no luggage racks on hearses or a place to stack your awards in a coffin. So, with that in mind, are those things really important? No. And if you don’t believe me, then let me have you take a little test so you can find out for yourself that what I’m saying is true.
- Name the 5 wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last five winners who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
- Name the last decade’s World Series Winners.
Could you name them all? No? In fact you could probably only name a few, if that. The point here, is that none of us can remember the headliners of yesterday and these are no second rate achievers. They are the best in their fields, but even so, even with all they’ve accomplished, the applause dies, awards tarnish, achievements are forgotten, and accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. No matter who they are, they will give an account of their life before God (Hebrews 9:27).
Now, let me make my point. I have one more test for you to take and let’s see how you do on this one.
- List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of five people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
- Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you or name one person who has been a hero to you in your life.
I bet you aced that one, huh? The point? The People who make a difference in life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. The people who make the most impact in this life are those who make a difference in the life of another and nothing is more important in life than the eternal salvation of the souls of men and women.
So, as you ask yourself life’s big questions, remember this: The most important thing is to seek and save that which is lost (Luke 19:10) and to do as Christ did and lay down our lives for others (John 15:13). Your heart should be to impact the world for Christ and take with you to Heaven the only thing you can…the souls of men.